CWA Local 1081
60 Park Place, Suite 501
Newark, NJ, 07102
Office (973) 623-1081
Fax: (732) 988-1081

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Newark Teachers Union

New Jersey Citizen Action Oil Group

July 29, 2008

Bruce Nigro, Director

Essex County Division of Welfare

18 Rector Street, Floor 9

Newark, NJ, 07102

Re: Step II Class Action Contractual Grievance

Poor Police Presence Policy & Procedures

Article I. Purpose

Article VII. Discipline

Article XXV. Non-Discrimination

Article XLIX. Safety of Staff

Dear Mr. Nigro:

CWA Local 1081 submits this Step II Class Action Contractual Grievance on behalf of all of our members assigned to work within the privately-owned 18 Rector Street/10 Park Place, Newark site to protest the fact it appears the Administration of the County of Essex has not in place a practical plan in place with which to respond to the unanticipated presence within the building of various iterations of law enforcement personnel, and bounty hunters, seeking to take into custody one or more individuals who may, or may not, be clients of the Essex County Division of Welfare.

It has been reported to CWA Local 1081 that just yesterday, July 28, 2008, witnessed the following such incursions into the building:

1. United States Marshals arrested three individuals within the building, later releasing one of them after bringing them to the parking lot of the Newark YMCA across the street.
2. At approximately 2:00 pm that same day, purported FBI agents questioned clients and agency employees alike if they had seen a gentleman wearing a white t-shirt and sporting a bald head. The agents were led by the building’s private security firm’s operatives under contract to the County to the entrance of the first floor where the agents spotted their suspect and arrested him in the presence of scores of clients, and clients’ children, waiting to enter the building once they had successfully passed through the security apparatus.
3. The Sheriff’s Officer, and the private security firm’s head officer on site, was not aware of the abovementioned incidents until being so informed by members of our Union. The Sheriff’s Officer was particularly concerned about bounty hunters prowling the premises for profit, while the security company operative agreed with the Sheriff’s Officer that the apparent lack of an adequate communications protocol between outside law enforcement elements, in addition to private bounty hunters, with the administration of the management of the Essex County Division of Welfare may well lead to contentious circumstance within our agency’s office’s we’d all much rather eschew.

As the resolution to this grievance, CWA Local 1081 respectfully demands the County expeditiously arrange a meeting that shall include managers of your choice, one or more representatives of the Sheriff’s Department, one or more representatives of the private security firm, one or more representatives of the landlord of the building and one or more respective representatives of CWA Local 1081 and PESU.

With the mass infusion of additional clients entering 18 Rector Street/10 Park Place, Newark every day, precipitated primarily by our agency’s July 1, 2008 assumption of the City of Newark’s General Assistance Program and the worrisome worsening of the world’s, our nation’s, our state’ and our local area’s economies which is exponentially increasing client applications for seemingly every sundry form of assistance and the continued lack of sufficient numbers of employees to service their needs, CWA Local 1081 is more fearful than ever before that incidents ranging from the merely unpleasant ranging all the way to mass violence may well find fertile ground within the 18 Rector Street/10 Park Place, Newark building as its security coordination is currently constituted.


David H. Weiner, President

CWA Local 1081